NH Tackles Hunger

Kennett High sophomore Camden Bailey and his fellow Life on an Athlete colleagues purchase food at Hannaford for New Hampshire Tackles Hunger. (NEAL WEAVER PHOTO)

CONWAY — Kennett High is once again teaming up with the New Hampshire Interscholastic Athletic Association (NHIAA), WMUR (Channel 9) and the New Hampshire Food Bank for the sixth annual New Hampshire Tackles Hunger weekend. This is also Kennett’s Homecoming Weekend.

Kennett High Athletic Director Neal Weaver is leading the initiative for KHS. He will be putting up signs to let folks know about the event and also posting on Twitter (twitter.com/KennettAthletic). Here's how you can help. Attend Kennett's home game against Plymouth this Friday, Sept. 27 (7 p.m. kickoff) to support the Eagles and be sure to bring a non-perishable food item for your local food pantry.

This weekend, food drives will be hosted at high school football games across the Granite State. All food donated will go to local food pantries in an effort to end hunger in New Hampshire. Over the past five years, N.H. Tackles Hunger has collected approximately 170,000 pounds of food for distribution. All of the food that is collected at the Kennett game will remain in the community.

“Let's see if we can do better than our totals from last year (595 food items, 358 pounds and $40 donated),” Weaver said. “All donations will be kept local and sent to the Vaughn Community Center.”

Weaver said all of the Kennett athletic teams are asked to collect food this week at their practices and games. The team with the highest per-player number of items will win a team reward.

There are 58 high schools competing in variety football this year, which means student-athletes and fans can make a huge impact in communities across the state.

“The greatest current challenge faced by local food pantries is meeting the continued, increasing need for hunger relief distribution at a time when the availability of a donated product is in decline,” a release from the NHIA states. “Over the past six years, the NH Food Bank has experienced declines in donated food from major food wholesalers, retailers and producers due to tighter inventory controls, less stock on hand, reduced revenue, smaller margins and the closing of 12 significant partner stores. At the same time, the need for food resources has continued to increase.”

Several items are of particular need, including peanut butter, jelly, tuna, soups, pasta, sauce and canned fruits and vegetables. Please, don't bring food in glass containers.

Cash donations will also be accepted.

To kick off this year’s campaign, Dead River Company is donating $10,000 and Hannaford has pledged $4,000 so all 58 high school football teams could receive a $250 gift card to send the schools shopping at Hannaford locations for their local New Hampshire Tackles Hunger game.

Weaver said and adult who brings five items and a student who brings three items will receive a free ticket to Friday night's football game.

If you are unable to attend Friday's game but would like to make a donation, contact Weaver at (603) 356-4343.

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